, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 566-580

Predictors of Latent Trajectory Classes of Physical Dating Violence Victimization

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Abstract

This study identified classes of developmental trajectories of physical dating violence victimization from grades 8 to 12 and examined theoretically-based risk factors that distinguished among trajectory classes. Data were from a multi-wave longitudinal study spanning 8th through 12th grade (n = 2,566; 51.9 % female). Growth mixture models were used to identify trajectory classes of physical dating violence victimization separately for girls and boys. Logistic and multinomial logistic regressions were used to identify situational and target vulnerability factors associated with the trajectory classes. For girls, three trajectory classes were identified: a low/non-involved class; a moderate class where victimization increased slightly until the 10th grade and then decreased through the 12th grade; and a high class where victimization started at a higher level in the 8th grade, increased substantially until the 10th grade, and then decreased until the 12th grade. For males, two classes were identified: a low/non-involved class, and a victimized class where victimization increased slightly until the 9th grade, decreased until the 11th grade, and then increased again through the 12th grade. In bivariate analyses, almost all of the situational and target vulnerability risk factors distinguished the victimization classes from the non-involved classes. However, when all risk factors and control variables were in the model, alcohol use (a situational vulnerability) was the only factor that distinguished membership in the moderate trajectory class from the non-involved class for girls; anxiety and being victimized by peers (target vulnerability factors) were the factors that distinguished the high from the non-involved classes for the girls; and victimization by peers was the only factor distinguishing the victimized from the non-involved class for boys. These findings contribute to our understanding of the heterogeneity in physical dating violence victimization during adolescence and the malleable risk factors associated with each trajectory class for boys and girls.